Spotlight Issue: August 2000

County Players Presents
The Fantasticks

County Players opens its 43rd season with the longest running musical ever – The Fantasticks by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones. Production dates Sept. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 2000 at 8:00 PM at the County Players Falls Theater, 2681 West Main Street in Wappingers Falls. Tickets for Friday and Saturday nights are $15 ($12 for seniors and children under 12).

The Fantasticks tells a sweet and simple story of young love: a boy and girl fall in love, Romeo and Juliet-like, when their fathers pretend to feud; later, they fall out, seek their fortunes, learn some painful lessons, and come to appreciate a real, more mature kind of love at the end. Jones and Schmidt set down their theme beautifully in the song “Try to Remember” that opens the show: “Without a hurt the heart is hollow.” When you hear that line again at the end of the show, its pure and truthful simplicity resonates. This is theater at its most essential.

A fine cast has been assembled which includes Christopher Propfe as El Gallo, Danae Lowman as Luisa, Zachary Joyce as Matt, Joe Gasparini as Hucklebee, Bruce Haskell as Bellomy, Rian Keating as Henry, George A. Conrad as Mortimer, and Heather Newman as The Mute.

Director Jeff Wilson, who also directed last season’s Lost in Yonkers ,said “I’m especially pleased with the vocal ability of the cast. Zachary and Danae (Matt and Luisa) are two newcomers to the CP stage and I’m very happy to be able to work with them. And, of course, Chris Propfe (El Gallo) has a beautiful rich voice which makes El Gallo come alive. I could speak volumes for every member of the cast.”

When asked about his concept for the play Jeff said, “The Fantasticks is about simplicity. It’s a story that has the basic elements of most stories: a boy and a girl, the things that keep them apart, the love that brings them together. I wanted to put together a show that presents these pure themes without a lot of theater ‘plastic trim’. That tends to disguise the essential truth of the play.”

To purchase tickets, please call the box office at 298-1491.

Upcoming Auditions

Auditions for The Last Night of Ballyhoo by Alfred Uhry will be held Sunday and Monday, September 10 and 11 at 7:00 PM at County Players Falls Theater, 2681 W. Main Street, Wappingers Falls. The play takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, in December of 1939. The plot centers around the Freitag family and their lives leading up to the social event of the season – Ballyhoo. The story is not only socially conscious but is also funny and moving. Needed are three men ages 20’s to 50’s and four women ages 20’s to 50’s. Production dates are in November and December. For more information, call Production Manager, Anna Marie Martino at 298-1332 or Director Bill Peckham at 473-5807.

Auditions for The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 will be held on Sunday, November 19 at 6:00 PM and Monday, November 20 at 7:00 PM at County Players Falls Theater, 2681 W. Main Street, Wappingers Falls. Despite its title, the play is not a musical. It is, however, very funny. Needed are five men and five women. For more information contact Production Manager Joe Cassidy at 454-1916 or Director Rian Keating at 265-4420

Auditions for the musical Pippin will be held in January or February of 2001. Production dates are in May, 2001. There will be a large cast of singers and dancers. For more details contact Director Tom Lawrence at 485-5848

County Players History

Twenty years ago: In September 1980, County Players’ season was extended to four shows and a fundraiser. Our own Carol DiNonno co-wrote A Sparkling Decade on Broadway. On stage was a large cast of CP regulars and some newcomers. Among them was local celebrity Lisa Molella who went on to become “Miss New York” and a contender for “Miss America”.

Ten years ago: September 1990, County Players had new front doors, new ceiling lights and new aisle carpeting installed, and the ceiling was painted black. The marquee was reconstructed because a truck had struck and damaged it. The American Globe Theatre of New York City “resided” with County Players for five days that Summer, presenting workshops and performances in the classical style of British Shakespearean interpretation and acting. A wine and cheese reception was held the night of the performances.

Call for Directors

County Players is seeking directors for our 44th season. Individuals interested in directing during the 2001-2002 season should contact County Players to get a submission package by September 30th, 2000. Send a letter to: Play Reading Committee, c/o County Players, Inc., 2681 West Main St., Wappingers Falls, NY 12590. If you have any questions, please call the theater box office at 298-1491.

Season Tickets Available

County Players will continue to offer season memberships until the end of the run of The Fantasticks (September 23, 2000). Season membership offers several benefits: guaranteed seating for each show, reduced ticket prices, and voting rights at CP’s annual meeting. If you are interested, please call Julie at 485-3002 or visit the box office when you come to see The Fantasticks.

From the President

Welcome to our 2000/2001 season! We have a wonderful 43rd season ahead of us that I am sure you will enjoy.

I can’t tell you how delighted I am to be back in the President’s chair. We have a very dynamic Board of Governors, all very eager to do everything they can to bring you quality community theatre. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank two former Board members, Bill Peckham and Mark Gleichenhaus, for their hard work, effort and dedication. And filling their seats on the Board – I would like to sincerely welcome Rian Keating and Douglas Propfe.

The door to our theatre is “always open”. Board meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month, 7 PM at the theater, and are open to the public. County Players has been alive and well for 42 years due to the efforts of our volunteers. There is constantly something going on at CP, and we love to see new faces. Contact any one of our Production Managers, or leave a message on our Box Office line 298-1491.

Hope to see you soon!

Anna Marie Martino – President